The CGC ad in the most recent Comic Buyer’s Guide really caught my attention. The typical CGC ad shows a raw or ungraded comic book and the seller’s description compared to a CGC graded comic book. Both prices are shown and inevitably the CGC graded comic sells for far more. What caught my attention in this ad was how close in price two of the comics were.
The ad features an Avengers #4 (described Fine vs. CGC 7.0). The difference in price was $995 raw vs. $1,311 for the CGC 7.0. Pretty straight forward. The modern comic in the ad was a Lady Mechanika #1 described Near Mint vs. a CGC 9.8. The prices? $7.99 compared to $37.00 CGC.
But all is not as it seems. Let’s look at the math:
CGC Modern grading fee: $17
Postage (both ways): approx. $10.00 (postage is no longer trivial, especially if dealing with one issue).
Cover Price of a Lady Mechanika $2.99
Grand Total: 29.99
Profit for a CGC comic: approx. $7.01 (not including selling fees).
Profit for a “raw” comic: $5.00
This doesn’t include the risk you take sending a comic to CGC that may come back less than a 9.8.
What can you take away from this?
First, make sure you do the math on your comic with submission fees and postage. Include selling fees if you are flipping the comic.
Second, I highly recommend GPAnalysis if you play this game so you have some concrete sales to compare.
Third, be very sure you know how to grade accurately. CGC doesn’t reveal their standards so you could end up submitting a book and it could come back lower than 9.8. You’d take a bath on the comic in that case. You probably want to ship several modern books at once so you can save on shipping and also use the prescreen service at CGC so you don’t full price to get a lower grade book back.